Friday, May 30, 2008

The Old Variety Shows

For my generation growing up, almost everyone remembers "The Carol Burnett Show." It was a variety show, which was a very popular format during the 60s and early 70s. One of the funniest people on TV was Tim Conway. He never could carry a show on his own, but he was hilarious as supporting cast. Kind of like another one of my all-time favorite comedy actors, Don Knotts.

Well, the "Carol Burnett Show" was filmed before a live audience. And part of the funniness of it was that Conway did a lot of improv. He would do something funny that the other actors weren't expecting in the skit, and Carol and Harvey Korman would just roll over laughing.

I heard this morning that Mr. Korman has passed away at age 81. When I think of him, I don't think of his own humor. I see him busting it laughing at Conway. A show like that wouldn't make it today. But it brought laughter to millions for many years.

Does anyone else remember variety shows? There used to be a lot of them. My dad liked "The Dean Martin Show." But none had the longivity of Burnett, though. I think I saw where she was voted the 2nd best female comedian in TV history. #1 of course was Lucy.


Jeff said...

We got to see Korman and Conway at Bass Hall awhile back. It was hilarious. I wish there was a show like that on today.

Anonymous said...

Dad called him Harvey Foreman. I still watch the show in syndication.

Another kind-of variety show I LOVED was the Dean Martin Roasts. Don Rickles, Foster Brooks, Rich Little .. and many more. There are a lot of them on YouTube.

Kyle R. said...

What are variety shows?

...just kidding.

Rick Ross said...

Ouch, Kyle. That hurt. Next thing I know, you're going to ask what a TV western is.

Rick Ross said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kyle R. said...

Nah... I've seen my share of Rifleman, Lone Ranger, Bonanza, and Rawhide episodes.